By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks last stop on the road trip was against the Tampa Lightning. The Ducks had won 2 out of 3 on the trip and played well in all three games. This game would tell a different story as the Ducks lost 5-0.
The Ducks came out strong like they had been playing in the previous games. The Ducks did get a power play in the middle of the period after a weird series of events. Patrick Maroon dropped a glove before a face-off looking to fight, but the refs had the teams reset without any penalties. Then after the face-off Chris Stewart and Luke Witkowski started jawing at each other before dropping the gloves. Witkowski decided to take his helmet off to fight, which prompted the refs to stop anything before it started. After it was sorted out, the Ducks had a power play with Maroon coming close as he hit the post on a great shot. The teams remained scoreless with the Ducks leading in the shots 8 to 6.
Nikita Kucherov started the scoring after Andrej Sustr‘s shot was deflected to him right in front of the net. Kucherov was all alone and just tapped it in past Frederik Andersen‘s leg pad. Ryan Kesler would then get an excellent chance to score as he beat Ben Bishop, but his shot rang off the post. After the Ducks nearly tied the game, Steven Stamkos would get the next two goals for Tampa Bay to break things wide open. First, he would shoot a laser at the top of the face-off circle past Andersen’s left shoulder and just inside the top corner of the net. Then Andrew Cogliano would get called for tripping and Stamkos would go to work on the power play. He found himself alone at the side of the net, then received a pass from Kucherov from a slam dunk goal. Tampa Bay led 3-0 after the second.
The Ducks came out in the third with some pressure trying to desperately get a goal. Any comeback ideas the Ducks had were quickly gone as Brian Boyle would score to make it 4-0 Tampa Bay. During the middle of the period Cam Fowler would get called for holding and Jonathan Marchessault would score on the power play to make it 5-0. Ducks couldn’t get one past Bishop and lost 5-0.
1. Missed Opportunities: Despite the loss, there were two missed opportunities in this game. First, the Ducks could have taken a lead in the opening 20 minutes if Maroon’s chance doesn’t hit the post and bounce out. Second, Kesler nearly tied the game in the second period with a post shot of his own.
2. Key Moment: Shortly after Kesler’s post shot, Stamkos came back with his laser shot to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead. This was a huge momentum shift the game that the Lightning ran with.
3. Shutout: The Ducks were shutout for the 6th time this year.
The Ducks next play the Calgary Flames on Tuesday at Honda Center at 7 p.m. The Ducks will be giving away J.S. Giguere coins that night.
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